Jason and Tyler just before we opened presents
Christmas Day started for us at about 6:30. Katelyn was actually the first one up, she was so excited. I awoke to see her dark silhouette by my bed. Scary.
We all made it out of bed and settled down in front of the fireplace. The kids were surprisingly pretty calm. They decided to open their stockings first. Tyler and Kate had socks, book lights and candy, while Jason and Justin had playdough, bubbles and candy. Tyler was so excited when he pulled out his socks that it surprised me. I expected him to be mad.
Justin wasn't sure what was going on and just kinda stared at everyone as they tried to get him to open his stocking. Finally Katelyn just upended it. When Justin saw the candy spill out, he started grabbing it and eating it. I don't think he's stopped yet.
Then we all took turns opening presents. We opened our presents from each other and the presents from Jim's parents. Everyone was very happy with their gifts. Of note was Katelyn's American Girl nightgown with a matching one for her American Girl doll and Tyler's plush Toad (from Super Mario Bros.).
Tyler with his Christmas presents
I was especially impressed when I opened my present from Katelyn. We weren't able to give the kids money to go Christmas shopping as originally promised, so I tried to encourage them to be creative and make gifts or write letters. My gift from Katelyn was a coupon book for things like making dinner one night. That gift meant more to me than something that cost money. :) She also made Jason and Justin a bean bag game by sewing scraps into square bags and filling then with lentils and making a board with holes in it for them to throw the bags into.
One of my goals for this next year is to be on the look-out for more homemade, from the heart gifts. More on that later.
Justin was still busy with candy, but we did finally get him to come and open his gift. He and Jason got some toys to share, like a doctor's kit:
After we opened presents, we lounged around. I made cinnamon rolls and a breakfast casserole so those were available for when we were hungry but we didn't push a specific meal time. It was so nice to just "be" for a while. Our Christmas morning was just about perfect :)
Soon enough it was time to get ready for our 1 pm Christmas day service at church. I got the clothes ready and lunch ready. We eat our agreed upon menu of grilled cheese sandwiches, little smokies and onion rings. Justin was still eating candy.
Church was a neat experience. Instead of preaching, Pastor first read an essay he had prepared about things that he was thankful for. The choral sang a medley of Christmas choruses. Then, Pastor pushed back the pulpit and sat down on the edge of the platform. He asked all of the young people to gather around him and he read them the Christmas story. It was so special! I don't think I'll ever forget that.
There was a little aside there as my good friend experienced some dizziness and complications with her pregnancy towards the end of the service and had to be taken to the hospital in an ambulance, but thanks be to God they could find nothing wrong and she went home fine. That will be a story for years to come ("Hey, remember that Christmas day service when Tammy had to go in an ambulance?")
After church we headed to my dad's for our Christmas time with him. We exchanged presents with them and had a yummy Ham dinner. Justin was still eating candy.
Finally at about 6:30 we headed home and put the kids to bed. They were so tired and wired that they cried for awhile, but finally all was quiet and we basked in the after-Christmas glow, knowing that the next day we could relax and ...
WAIT, relax???? No way! My mom, brother and sister-in-law were on the way! Hurry, we gotta clean....!